BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said it’s not the Awami League but an ‘invisible force’ running the country.

“Awami League claims they are running the country. But is it actually running the country? No, they are not. An invisible force is operating this country and they (Awami League) have taken the rights of people of Bangladesh away at the behest of that force,” Fakhrul said while addressing a Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal rally at Naya Paltan in the city yesterday.

Jubo Dal, the youth wing of BNP, organised the protest rally demanding release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, withdrawal of cases against Tarique Rahman and release of incarcerated leaders including Jubo Dal president Sultan Salauddin Tuku.

Mirza Alamgir alleged that the ruling party has politicized all state machinery of the country including police, law enforcers, administration and judiciary.

He said politicisation has reached a level that anyone who has family members or relatives with a BNP link don’t get recruited despite passing Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations.

Mirza Alamgir alleged BNP leaders get harassed at the airport while leaving the country.

“We have now become strangers in our own country. When we go to the airport to go abroad for treatment upon court orders, we are harassed and kept waiting for hours,” said Mr Alamgir.

Criticising the Awami League government, Fakhrul said the people of the country cannot exercise their voting rights freely since 2008.

“They have completely swallowed the electoral system. They come up with a new strategy every time. They introduced a dummy election system this time around,” he said.

Mirza Alamgir also termed the parliament’s opposition Jatiya Party as ‘domesticated opposition’.

Mentioning Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader’s remark that BNP would be given a double lesson if it tries to resort to terror, Fakhrul said, “BNP never engages with terror, BNP has no such history. It’s your history. I’ve said many times that you were born by terrorism.”

He asked people to take to the streets.

“Otherwise, our freedom or sovereignty would all be at stake,” he added.

Presided by Jubo Dal’s acting president Mamun Hasan, the rally was addressed, among others, by standing committee members Mirza Abbas and Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, vice chairman Barkatullah Bulu, joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, publicity secretary Shahid Uddin Chowdhury and leaders of Jubo Dal and Chhatra Dal.